These leaders in property and real estate are defining where Asians work, play and live
Armed with vision and daring, the property magnates on Asia’s Most Influential list have dotted the region with towers and complexes that touch all aspects of life, from living and working to shopping and playing. They’ve also expanded into the rest of the world, establishing luxury villas, skyscrapers and marinas that exemplify Asian expertise and ingenuity. Moreover, these industry leaders are not only shaping the cities of today, but are also looking to the future, implementing sustainability practices in their properties for the next generation.
Dr Andrew L Tan, Philippines
Under the stewardship of CEO Andrew Tan, Megaworld Corporation has become one of the leading property developers in the Philippines. Its projects span townships and residences, LEED-certified office towers, upscale malls, and branded hotels found all over the country. The billionaire continues to grow his property empire, with plans to build a PHP15-billion gaming township in Manila and open its fourth Savoy Hotel near the white sand beaches of Palawan.
Setting his sights on the rest of the world, Tan has also expanded into Europe, listing Emperador Properties on the Spanish Stock Exchange in December 2022 (the first Filipino company to do so on the bourse). Emperador Properties already has three projects in Spain: Torre Emperador Castellana and Caleido in Madrid, and Torre Diagonal One in Barcelona.
Dato’ Azmir Merican, Malaysia
Dato’ Azmir Merican is the group managing director of Sime Darby Property, one of the largest developers in Malaysia, with residential, commercial and even industrial projects across the country, from Klang Valley to Johor. With his guidance, the property company soared in 2022, achieving a net profit of RM56.13 million for the third quarter and exceeding its 2022 fiscal year sales target with RM2.7 billion.
Sime Darby is also part of the restoration of the historic Battersea Power Station in London. The landmark reopened to the public in October 2022 as a leisure destination with shops, bars, restaurants, office spaces, a hotel and Lift 109, a circular glass elevator that provides splendid views of the property at a height of 109 metres. “We reimagined the project and repurposed its reasons for existence, and now we have before us the exemplary result of the largest redevelopment project in London, which is one of the most successful in the world,” said the director.
Arthur Tay, Singapore
Asia’s city builders are not bound to land. SUTL Enterprise, under the diversified enterprise of SUTL Group, which is chaired by Arthur Tay, develops and operates integrated marinas, including its own. With 26 rooms plus spas, restaurants, bars, tennis courts, and an infinity pool—and, of course, 270 berths—its One°15 Marina in Sentosa Cove in Singapore is a luxury destination for boating enthusiasts.
Beyond Singapore, water lovers can enjoy the company’s facilities, services and private club amenities in Brooklyn in the US, Nirup Island in Indonesia and Logan Cove in China, as well as in marinas managed by One°15 such as the Indonesia Navy Club and the Taihu International Marina. Completing the experience, SUTL operates Singapore’s largest yacht chartering company, One°15 Luxury Yachting, which boasts a fleet of more than 40 vessels.
Adriel Chan, Hong Kong
Apart from expanding its portfolio of residential, office and commercial towers in Hong Kong and China, Adriel Chan, vice chair of Hang Lung Properties, is focused on sustainability. In October 2022, Hang Lung joined hands with luxury giant LVMH for a three-year pact focused on climate resilience, resource management and sustainable transactions, among others. The partnership will be implemented across the 26 LVMH brands in Hang Lung’s 90 retail spaces across mainland China.
Hang Lung is staying true to its sustainability commitment: Parc 66, its retail complex in Jinan, China, has been exclusively powered by renewable energy starting this year, making it the company’s second property to go fully green after its Spring City 66 complex. The achievement brings Han Lung closer to its overall target of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “Our world is already in the midst of a climate crisis, and we all need to act decisively to reduce emissions. At Hang Lung, we are determined to decarbonize our business,” added the vice chair.
Nelson Chang, Taiwan
Outside of his chairmanship in Taiwan Cement, Nelson Chang is also the founder of LDC Hotels & Resorts, which owns properties not only in Taiwan but also in Italy. In Taiwan, Chang has established the likes of Palais de Chine Hotel, which merges eastern and western cultures, and Fleur de Chine Hotel near the magnificent Sun Moon Lake.
Over in Italy, the hotelier has developed a collection of luxury hotels and villas, including A.Roma Lifestyle Hotel in Rome, Palazzo Venart in Venice, Villa Ortaglia in Florence and Villa Monte Solare in Umbria. In 2022, Chang reopened Palazzo Portinari Salviati, the 15th-century Florentine property that was once the home of Cosimo de Medici, the grand duke of Tuscany. LDC spent years restoring the property on Via Del Corso, which now includes 13 opulent suites and private apartments adorned with art, including frescoes by Tommaso Gherardini.
Tatler Asia's Most Influential is the definitive list of people shaping our world today. Asia's Most Influential brings together the region's most innovative changemakers, industry titans and thought leaders who are driving positive impact in Asia and beyond. View the full list here.